• Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962.  Private collection

    Roy Lichtenstein, Masterpiece 1962

    Private collection

I’m Iria Candela, the co-curator of Lichtenstein: A Retrospective at Tate Modern. Since the exhibition opened there have been some great reviews in the press, but I would also like to hear your opinions. If you have visited the exhibition, what was it like seeing these iconic works face-to-face? Were you surprised by some of Lichtenstein’s lesser-known paintings, or by his sculptures and drawings? Do let me know your views, stories and comments.

I hope you enjoyed this retrospective of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. You can read more about it on my Lichtenstein blog or see what future exhibitions we have at Tate Modern.

Comments

finiteattention

Really enjoyed this exhibition. I only know Lichtenstein's famous pop-art, so it was a surprise to me that he'd explored other forms. I was hugely impressed by Lichtenstein's theoretical knowledge and skill in deconstructing other works of art — the Art Deco sculptures (especially the one with the red rope) were a highlight (and I hate Art Deco!). My husband and I both loved the early paintings, especially Alka-Seltzer, and we also loved Lichtenstein's late oriental landscapes. On top of all this, it was also great to see the big famous works, like WHAAM, in the flesh.

The only failing of the exhibition in my eyes is the positioning of the text that accompanies each room of art. I know this is always an issue when working out how to lay out an exhibition, but we found that on entering each room, in order to read the summary (which was not the same as in the printed guide), we basically had to stand in the way of others trying to enter the room. And because of our very British reluctance to stand too close to strangers, this meant that groups of us, carefully spaced apart, ended up making it very difficult for others to pass through, or to read the text themselves. While I admit that we did go on a busier day (Good Friday, so a bank holiday), it did feel a bit like flow around the exhibition had been designed with few visitors in mind, rather than many; there were definitely several pinch points.

If it sounds like I've given this a little too much thought, I should perhaps disclose that I work as a user experience consultant, helping companies develop seamless online journeys for the people using their digital products — but I've also been in conversation with museum curators at the British Museum about how to create seamless journeys through gallery and exhibition spaces. It turns out that the two worlds share a lot of common issues, and some common solutions. Ping me on Twitter (@finiteattention) if you'd like to chat about this, as it's something I find enormously interesting.

Kind regards, and thanks for making this space available for us to give feedback!

Chris

h2k13

Does anybody know if he continued to paint his own canvases in their entirety throughout his career?

Did he paint all the different Benday dots himself or have assistants?

If he did them himself is this also a factor in our respect for him as a 'maker' of his own work?

Mark Hustwitt

I think he had a team but this is a bit of a tired argument - Rambrant etc had whole teams of people painting their pictures so its not new. Look at the image and effect of the work and don;t get hung up on the Romantic rhetoric of "the authentic artist", it doesn't exist. Don't you think Springsteen does overdubs on his records?

Mark Hustwitt

Since you since you ask...I've been a big Lichtenstein fan for many years and was looking forward to the exhibition. I have to say compared to the 2004 Hayward one I thought it lack a certain drama and depth. The rooms were so small and crowded you couldn't really stand back to enjoy the spectacle of the paintings and the few background drawings you had only gave a glimpse of what I'd expected from pre-publicity. You didn't even have the large brushstroke painting (is it No6?) that used to be at the Tate when it was all at Tate Britain.

On a positive note it was good to see his early abstract expressionist paintings, the Modern sculptures & paintings and the late nudes but in the end I thought the 2004 exhibition was better, sorry.

Looking forward to Patrick Caulfield though - hopefully some sketches, early works and late works too. Maybe something about his technique too.

DEREK

Thank you a great exhibition. I learnt a lot from the excellent information on the walls and booklet. It was so colourful and I was interested to see the sculptures also. Derek

mockturtle06

Such a fun exhibition. No fat or filler at all. Either it was very well curated or I'm such a fan, or both. All my faves were there. Thank you. I loved it.

gmhowi

What an awsome experience!!! We immensely enjoyed the exhibition on April 2, and only left reluctantly after several hours.....

3children

Have thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, went the second day it was on, then went yesterday. As I'm on school holiday I shall go again next week! I love the Japanese work. Took my daughter and she and I really were surprised as we didn't know that he did this type of work. Thanks for a great exhibition.

Shortcrust

I was frustrated by crowds standing four deep when I was at a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition many years ago and I find this to be my experience for almost every 'blockbuster exhibition' I've ever been to. So coming to this show with a friend, I braced myself for the predicted scrum. There were lots of people, as expected, but I was pleasantly surprised to find there was plenty of space and I was able to see everything.

I've only seen Lichtenstein's work in books, postcards and T-shirts, so it was great to be able see the pieces up close. No print can ever fully capture the brush strokes, the creation of the dots and the sheer size of some of the pieces. The war and romance room contained many of the most recognisable works, but there were areas like the modern room containing the Art Deco inspired brass sculptures and the room with the Chinese paintings, proving there was more to Lichtenstein than comic book dots.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and I'm going there again, but next time I'll take advantage of the audio description to enhance the experience.

ArtForArtSake

Thank you Iria, We loved the exhibition! My two girls who are 8 and 9 years of age loved the interactive magnetic Lichtenstein pop art wall down on floor zero. From there we visited the exhibition which was breathtaking. Didn't expect to see so many works of art! The girls bought blank note books and pencils from the gift shop and spent much of their time drawing and writing about the works of art! As they went on. After a break and bite to eat, they demanded to go back and do it all again with the head set! We arrived at 11:00 and left at 6pm. A truly brilliant day at the Tate!

Grandma

very enjoyable.pleasantly surprised.it would be nice if there was seating in every room.

207066410

A good exhibition, yes, but never mind the Lichtensteins, I was most impressed by the gift shop; clothes, iPhone covers and even beer.

Timos

Loved the show. The Chinese painting themed works in the last room in particular are incredible. Just hadn't associated this sort of work with Lichtenstein before seeing the exhibition!

Alfredthebutler

Thoroughly enjoyed it, but almost missed the best room, I was expecting the exhibition to end with a Whaam! So had no choice but to head back to the begining, however it was worth swimming against the hoards to see the most iconic pieces. As I opened fire..Takka Takka..Torpedo Los!..Whaam...I had goosebumps.

Jeffocks

I was taken by surprise in the Nudes room and especially the Mirrors room. I didn't expect the exhibition would make me think so much - a superb event.

RachelJane

It was really interesting and I hadn't come across the works in the 1990s before - but it was so busy - I want to pay another visit when I can see the works without bumping into people

Di Perry

I found the exhibition outstanding . There was far more to see than I expected and I loved the pop art but found the range of the exhibition really exciting. I will be visiting again and will listen to the audio guide next time . Well done To the team

susandryan

I LOVED Washington crossing the Delaware! I wish there had been a postcard reproduction!

Also did not realize that the early brushstroke work was a statement on abstract expressionists. Interesting. And loves how he brought the brush strokes back later but this time actually incorporating more abstract expressionism.

Great exhibit. Enjoyed and learned.

enorth

An excellently curated exhibition gliding effortlessly through his career. Most of his works make me want to smile. I never knew he did ceramics and sculptures and I had certainly never before seen the latest Chinese works which were beautiful and different but still his.

jeremy996

We went yesterday, 6th April, and enjoyed it immensely. There were a lot of people there and many of them seemed determined to stand in the way, but that is life, so get over it!

I was really impressed by the number of works borrowed from private individuals and I am extremely jealous of them - having a Lichtenstein at home must be a magical combination of social kudos, economic value, humour and entertainment. If I could take a work home, it would either be one of the explosion sculptures or Landscape with Philosopher. As it was, my wife spent a fortune in the shop; book, post cards, cushion covers, mugs etc........

I loved the way the works were displayed and grouped together; the only way I believe that the environment could be improved would be to limit the audience to a pitifully small number; neither practical or desirable commercially.

I look forward to the Lowry, where we will turn up mob handed!

Maggie MRMartworks

Despite the April snow showers! well worth the visit, excellent exhibition, a real eye opener to an artist generally known for his comic book creations. On seeing such a retrospective, it gives Lichtenstein overdue acclaim in bringing together popular culture with fine art. Surprisingly it is the broad range of imagery that attracts the attention, the sculptures were unexpected, the parodies of Picasso and Matisse are intriguing and the studio creations are an amazing feat of precision painting. It is evident that Lichtenstein is at heart a traditional painter, he engages you with his technique and the exploration of subject matter but turns on its head with his unique style of approach. I walked away wanting to know more about this artist and the mechanics of his creations. The exhibition has certainly made me reassess his body of works and look further into Lichtenstein's legacy to painting.

peter harold

I liked the show and it good to see the well known pictures live and up close for the first time. My only criticism would be the lack of any real information about the artist himself. Apart from the usual pseudy stuff that described each room, I felt I left the exhibition none the wiser about the man himself.

peter harold

I liked the show and it was good to see the well known pictures live and up close for the first time. My only criticism would be the lack of any real information about the artist himself. Apart from the usual pseudy stuff that described each room, I felt I left the exhibition none the wiser about the man.

Maje

Hi Iria

I really enjoyed the exhibition and looking forward to coming back soon!

Parabéns polo traballo. Merece unha visita máis longa en canto teña máis tempo :)

Orli2012

Interesting Exhibition, as Lichtenstein Just a little older then me, grew up with the same Art and cartoons I was familiar with. Therefore his interpretation of some things of the time are especially interesting. There was some excitement in the exhibition as young, very young, old and very old mingled and enjoyed it. This is Lichtenstein appeal - ageless...

Enjoyed it.

Trevor Robertson

With the luxury of the best bargain in London, Tate Membership, I can come and see these works as often as I like. I tend to flit through my first viewing without the headset guide and try and form my opinion without clues or guidance. Litchenstein's wit and sense of mischief shine through from the off. His early works lack the polish, care and vision of the later years, but he really makes up for it. I was astounded at the sculptures, with his subtle nods to the Art Deco of his home city, and the comics he loved. (Was 'Call Stan' on Diary a wink to Mr Lee? I'll find out on my next visit, with the help of the commentary, with a bit of luck!) This is one of the best exhibitions I have seen at The Tate, and I can't wait to see it again. It was also nice to see so many children enjoying the art.

mknight5

I knew little of Lichtenstein's work other than the 'Wham' picture but was prepared to enjoy it. I went with a friend who was less enthusiastic but willing to keep an open mind. We both came out singing and dancing, well, not literally, but were really impressed with the range of work on show and the CLEVERNESS of it too. Loved the 3D things which neither of us knew he had done, and enjoyed that experimental feel and the skill in his use of colour and design and drawing/painting. So refreshing!

(We'd just come from the Manet in the morning with the sombre and cathedral-like sense of hushed reverence that can kill your pleasure at an exhibition. The lightness, pleasure and noise at the Lichtenstein was also a refreshing uplift).

robn7777777

"I'm interested in portraying a sort of antisensibility that pervades society," Lichtenstein said, summing up his work. For me the Tate Modern exhibition shows just how well he succeeded. His comic book inspired pictures will forever be associated in my mind with the now demolished Queen Mary College Halls of Residence refectory, where large prints of his and Warhol’s works were hung on the walls. On reflection that was probably a fitting setting. As far as I can see from the paintings on show, even those that emulate earlier painters, they are consistently flat, processed and without emotional depth.

An enjoyable exhibition.

Emma Gotz

I loved it - thank you. Went to the 10am Sunday viewing and maybe I was lucky not too many others were there to ruin my enjoyment. I am a huge fan of Lichtenstein but have never seen his work in 'real life'. I was shocked by the size of some of the work, especially Interior with waterllies, my personal favourite. loved the Art Deco inspired sculptures, which I was not aware of and felt very emotional at seeing the Chinese paintings. it was well laid out, it made 'sense' to me. I hope I get a chance to come back and see it again before it finishes.

Jill B

I've been to the Lichenstein 4 or 5 times now, and each time I go I see more, and it just gets better and better. Lichenstein's appropriation was such a good theme for this show. He was so witty, and managed to pay homage to other artists and yet consistently produce recognisable Lichensteins. The Art from Art room was a revelation, as were the Perfect/ Imperfect paintings. I love the fact that my membership enables me to visit time and again, so that I can look at just a few pieces in depth, then do the same with another section on my next visit. Thanks, Tate

Keith Duddy

Really enjoyed the exhibition particularly the large scale paintings and the later work which i had not seen before. noticed one of the pieces had been borrowed from Wolverhampton Art gallery - who knew! Congratulations on bringing it all together

Alancharles

Excellent exhibition covering many sides of Lichenstein that are seldom seen or appreciated. Very well laid out show, following his career easily with good notes in each room. Fortunately we went on a Monday morning as I am finding these days too many shows are crowded with children and pushchairs turning the place into a creche. It is bad enough having precocious 8 year olds with the exhibition headphones on pretending to understand what they are hearing. The same with school parties. There should be child free days.

birchalld

Great show I really found it most informative I really wouldn't have looked at his work if I had not been a member and read about the exhibition in the magazine But I am really pleased I went along and thought the exhibition was just great Thanks

Lds

Great exhibition if only I was able to see it! I went there yesterday and I must say it was so hideously busy that I could hardly see anything. Entire classrooms of jumping teens, a guy trying to convince his toddler to eat a banana, chaos everywhere! Why don't you do dedicated school/family days. It's not fair putting people who want to really enjoy an exhibition through that.

QiotoCreate

Stunning set up, well worth the travel and the time. And topped it off with a roll down the Turbine Hall (if its good enough for kids, its good enough for a 30+ year old) Tho it left me a little dizzy.

Brix

Wonderfully curated exhibition. The rooms were really well put together and the selection of exhibits were perfect. It must have required some effort to coordinate all the loans but came off really well. Well done!

c and a

A fantastic exhibit! My daughter and I attended the exhibit and both really enjoyed it. She had studied Lichtenstein as part of her GCSE art course and was more familiar with his work then I was. We were both surprised by the sculptures and lesser known works. We particularly enjoyed the Chinese landscapes. Our only complaint was that our favorite pieces were unavailable as post cards or prints!

Michael M

The exhibition was everything I expected, quirky, fun, and above all interesting in its history from the 50's onwards and its comments on the art of the time. Sunday, was good, if busy. Monday, being first in the galleries was a completely different experience. It took me back to the Guggenheim exhibition, 1993, and was better for the range covered, though I missed Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

lillyfriday

Hi Irea,

Firstly, I would like to congratulate your curation of this exhibition, and the timing of it; I am sure, like many others of my generation whilst I've been aware of Lichtenstein's work I have never appreciated his portrayal of the cultural significance and observation of gender roles and stereotypes within media, and the way that the exhibition has been conceived really highlights the changing attitudes of an artist who (to an extent) unwittingly became an icon of that which he satirised, and the challenge of artistic progression within this remit. It works. I work in entertainment and media, training and 'branding' individuals for public consumption, and so the commodity marketability, and portrayal of the individual within the media is a subject of great interest to me.

I saw the exhibition yesterday, bang in the middle of the school holidays (an unwise decision, probably) and due to the heavy traffic the viewing experience became intertwined with an immediately apparent audience reaction. In the toilets prior to entering, women lined the mirrors, transfixed by their own reflections, endlessly and un-self consciously re-preening. In a separate exhibition at the Tate I was passed whilst watching a video piece by two women, around my age, who I overheard laughing at the fact that 'people actually sit and watch this stuff'. And in the exhibition itself I was sad to see more time spent poring over souvenirs to 'prove' that they had 'done' the exhibition than actually looking at any one piece of work, and it made me think.

There is a certain irony in presenting these themes to the people who claim to 'think differently', to those who consider themselves to culturally open to concepts and ideas (those who will spend a free day visiting a gallery in central London), but whom in fact do not appear to engage with any conceptual element of the exhibition. In fact, the art world seems to become ever more obsessed with it's own perception of an image of itself (and this is where the timing is inspired-Lichtenstein in a recession brings a million other questions of material over spiritual gratification, and issues of honesty within representation) over the value of the ideas that brought it to be. There is a certain gratification that comes from re-hashing an opinion over a dinner party, and the Tate has become embroiled within that; no gallery can maintain a truly unbiased standpoint, as it is an entity within itself, but it certainly feels to have become an emblem of cultural aspiration to many.

I'm not sure where this goes; for your part, I believe that the exhibition was a great success, and I was able to see the work of an artist presented in a way that made a lot of sense to me, and in a way that allowed me to access that ideas behind the work (the recent Damien Hirst exhibition also did this beautifully in my opinion). I'm also sure my timing is a large part of my experience, and I will return in quieter times. You can't force people to care; but I find it interesting (especially in light of the recent debates of community and aspirational society in the wake of the death of Margaret Thatcher) that so many appear to attend events for the outwardly apparent cultural significance rather than for any personal gratification of education.

(Or it might just be that I'm just a cynical w**ker. Probably)

Juliamarcus

Very much enjoyed it - it was busy, but because of the space it was possible to move around and give the paintings the time they deserved. The rooms were beautifully lit, and thoughtfully ordered. I was with my 11 year old son, and his eyes nearly popped out of his head when we entered the War and Romance room.

It was a LOT to take in, and by the time we got to the room which featured some of Lichtenstein's very early work, it was a relief to see some brush strokes as I had dots floating around in front of my eyes!

I had been planning on visiting the Rothko's afterwards (as I always do), but by then I was all Roy'd out! I'll save them for next time...

But thank you.

wingate

Fascinating exhibition. Good to see the early paintings and areas of work which I was unaware of. Not that I thought all of that work was successful but it is important in showing the work journey as a whole. For that reason I thought this a well curated show. Very well presented. The better known pieces were a joy to behold.

jaxto023

We really loved and enjoyed the exhibition. For the first time I saw all those works together. I haven't seen the chinese landscapes before, but they were beautiful. Hope some day I will revisit Tate.

George Vasdekys

Brilliant exhibition. I knew little about RL but was attracted by the modernity of the images and the vibrancy of the colours. The commentary was informative and interesting and the "homage" paintings to PIcasso, Matisse etc intriguing and exciting. My favourite objects however, to my surprise, were the sculptures especially the Art Deco style brass "architecturally inspired" pieces. Well done Iria to you and your team.

bigjohndavid

The Roy Lichtenstein exhibition? Pretty good in itself, but I prefer painting with soul and instinct and a touch of the infinite in the paint, in addition to the ideas eg Van Gogh. I enjoyed that early little figurative piece, aged as it looked.

AndyLake

I agree with everyone else that it is a great exhibition. And his work is more wide-ranging than is generally known.

One thing I noted - while artists he sourced or parodied like Picasso and Matisse are mentioned, comic book artists like Jack Kirby are not. There's a lot of Kirby influence, for sure, in many of his most iconic images: even amongst the nudes. I think the Tate could give a nod in that direction with a little bit of named referencing.

lallane

The Tate's impressive display of Lichtenstein's work hasn't changed my first impression that he is more interesting than inspirational. It's hard not to admire his techinical expertise but there doesn't seem to be much going on below the surface. It impacts on the eye but not on the emotions.

It is also surprising how little he digressed from his central theme during his long career. It's almost as if he found a style and limirted range of subjects that suited him early in his career and decided that this was all he wanted to do.

There is no doubt that Lichtenstein is a highly accomplished draftsman, but for me he's a bit of a one trick pony. It's an extremely impressive trick, but after a while it becomes repetitious, predictable and slightly dull.

hisooz

We enjoyed our visit as it was so varied and included unknown works. The layout was well set out. The booklet and room descriptions were also good. The only negative was in room 7 Art about Art - it would have been useful on the individual descriptions to include which painter and painting he was rephrasing to complete the understanding. This was done in room 4 War and Romance with the Whaam picture and the comic picture it was based on. Not everyone knows everything about artists and other styles. However, well worth the visit. Thanks.

Julian

Lichenstein's Torpedo...Los! sold for £5m. Couldn't help but notice the BrewDog/Tate Torpedo Los! beer for the ocassion of the exhibition is selling for a lot less, £4.95 a bottle. Ironic, one of Brewdog's more infamous beers was Sink the Bismark, now they're doing this U-boat beer.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/selcamra/8642551639/in/photostream

Cheers SE London Campaign for Real Ale

D'Silva

Visited with my daughter on a very wet Friday..

Our spirits were immediately uplifted upon entering the exhibition, with my daughter recognising "Look Mickey" from the very useful iPhone app and TV programme relating to the exhibition.

We both found the layout extremely easy to navigate and very fluid in its set up.

The quality and vibrancy of the pieces was outstanding and with most of them unhindered by plexiglass or glass, both felt we were emotionally involved in each piece as the artist fully intended.

We have now visited Tate Modern many times over the years for various exhibitions and also to wander through the ever changing free rooms, never leaving disappointed.

Especially as one can see masterpieces by many famous artists such as Picasso (highlight of yesterday being Nude, Green Leaves and Bust) and surprises appear around each corner!

Well done to all involved.

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